Running any business is about generating revenue and realizing profits. Generating revenue is the result of building brand awareness, attracting prospective customers, generating leads and getting actual conversions. There are so many ways businesses can use to achieve those pivotal elements. One of them is through running competitions or contests where prospective and existing customers get to participate. People generally love the prospects of winning something. Thus rolling out competitions will generate the much-needed buzz that can grow your business. In this article, I discuss some of the competitions your business can run.
Raffle draws have always been an ingenious and effective way of raising money. I recall in high when I pioneered a magazine club; raffle draws was one of the fundraising ways. The principle or approach is simple really – the sales amount of the tickets should outweigh the cost of the prize(s). This means the prize(s) should be alluring enough to get people buying as many as they can. As a business, you can start selling raffle tickets for an anticipated huge prize. It differs from business to business as in some you can have the prize(s) as products or services you actually offer. In some scenarios, it might be something outside your product or services range e.g. a holiday or a car.
Buy And Win
The buy and win competition take many forms as you can tell from your experiences with some businesses. It usually entails coming up with a list of participating products or services from what you sell. Then when people buy anything from that list they enter into a draw. Then at a later point, a draw will be conducted to select the winners – usually through random selection (manually, electronically or mechanically). At times a different entry prerequisite can be used e.g. a particular purchase amount or quantity to enter. You can always use your discretion to figure out what is more engaging and lucrative.
In this day and age, you will realize that most of the best competition ideas are online ones. This stems from many factors some of which are pandemic related. We still grapple with lockdowns that restrict free movement. This means that more and more people are found online. After all, digital marketing is now the real deal when it comes to business marketing. To generate buzz and drive engagements between the public and your brand, you must do online contests. This obviously follows that you have or must have social media accounts on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, and even WhatsApp and the like. Here are some of the cool contest ideas online:
An Important Note On Online Contests
When running online competitions you have to kill several birds at once. You can boost brand awareness and draw traffic towards your platforms; at the same, you will be driving engagements too. In essence, you will be building a community around your brand. I am saying this so that you know there is something you must always do in online contests. Always encourage participants to follow, like, comment, tag friends, and share – never forget that. Once you have stipulated what the competition will be you must indicate that following, liking, commenting, and sharing will be part of the terms and conditions.
You can post a picture on your social media platforms; it could be of your products or services (or something else interesting). Then you will ask people to comment with a creative caption for the picture. You can give people a week to do this and say that the best caption will win something. You can keep the prize(s) a mystery or you can specify what they will be. A common selection criterion is that the comment with the highest number of likes wins. You can always explore other criteria but ensure they are not subjective.
Video Or Photo Contests
You can ask participants to send videos or photos of themselves regarding something. For example, it can be videos or photos of themselves with one of your products. It can maybe be a short video of them showing or explaining why they love your brand. The ideas are infinite and totally up to your discretion. Then the selection of winners can be random or based on their submissions having the highest number of engagement. Alternatively, it can be based on their submission satisfying a particular criterion.
Here you get to ask people to answer certain questions or just a question. It can be about your brand, something industry-related or something interesting. For example, you ask a question regarding when and where your first brand was opened. Then of course you highlight they must follow, like, comment, tag, and share. Then winners will be picked using a criterion of your choice.
Random picks are already part of literally every online contest. However, you can come up with creative ways of using this to run online contests. For example, you can tell people to ensure they engage with your posts and other people’s comments for the next 2 weeks. Then you will highlight that a random winner will be announced at the end of that period. People will not know what you are looking at as your criterion. Thus people will most likely see to it that they do all they can. This can drive engagement on your platforms remarkably well.
There are several holidays in a year so I will just use two examples. We have Mother’s Day and Father’s day holidays which you can use to run a competition. You can ask people why they think their mother or father is the best mother or father in the world. Then you pick winners using the engagements criteria or you can pick the winners yourself. The same can be done for Valentine’s day and other holidays.
Let me close by a word of caution. Running competitions as a business is good and all but there are boundaries you must not cross. You must ensure that the competition does not fall under the banner of betting, gambling, or lotteries. This is because those areas require licensing. This is a lengthy subject and might even require you to seek legal advice. The bottom line is that I wanted to let you in on the fact that competitions must fall within certain limits. Remember the crux of competition to bring in revenue and make profits which is after all the whole point of running a business. Thus you must not rush into running competitions; meticulously plan so that you do not actually incur losses in the process.